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USA Today reports on some negative reactions prompted by Walmart’s decision last week to put Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on clothing such as jeans and underwear:

“‘This is a first piece of a very large and very frightening tracking system,’ said Katherine Albrecht, director of a group called Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering.

“Albrecht worries that Wal-Mart and others would be able to track movements of customers who in some border states like Michigan and Washington are carrying new driver's licenses that contain RFID tags to make it easier for them to cross borders.

“Albrecht fears that retailers could scan data from such licenses and their purchases and combine that data with other personal information. She also says that even though the smart tags can be removed from clothing, they can't be turned off and can be tracked even after you throw them in the garbage, for example.”

Walmart says that it wants manufacturers to put the RFID trackers on removable tags, not in the clothing; the company also says it has no intention of tracking where garments go and how they are used.
KC's View:
The question I would ask is why Walmart - or any other company - would want to track underwear and jeans once they leave the store. Quite frankly, most companies have more than enough to do each day, and don’t even get to all the legitimate pieces of business that need to get done each day. I don’t want to minimize privacy issues at a time when technology is eroding our personal space...but this just doesn’t seem like an issue to me.